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Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry sat down for an interview with Sports Illustrated on Friday and gave some rare insight into his relationship with longtime rival and friend, LeBron James. Curry explained that his relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers legend is "complex" due to their age difference and many years playing against each other. 

"It's complex," Curry said. "Becuase you go from playing in the tournament and him coming to watch, to me coming in as a young rookie in the league and him giving me advice on how to get through some of the early struggles that I was gonna go through as a player, to the four Finals appearances in a row, playing against each other, to even last year playing in the playoffs again. He's a great dude, great friend, great competitor, and it's amazing to go back and look at where it all started."

James and Curry were famously born at the same hospital in Akron, Ohio, just under four years apart, and their paths have crossed on countless occasions in the three-plus decades since then. As Curry noted, the relationship started out as something of a mentorship. As a rookie, Curry would even hang out at James' house and watch Family Guy

But as Curry emerged as an MVP and one of the biggest stars in the world, their relationship became a bit more adversarial. Curry's Warriors and James' Cavaliers met in the Finals four times in a row, from 2015-18, with Golden State winning three titles to Cleveland's one. 

At a Halloween party James hosted in 2016, following the Cavaliers' 3-1 comeback in the Finals earlier that year, there were cookies with Curry and Klay Thompson's names on tombstones and reportedly a dummy of Curry on the floor that guests had to step over to get inside. Curry declined to comment. In the closing seconds of Game 1 of the 2018 Finals, James blocked a Curry layup and the two exchanged words. During a 2019 podcast, Bill Simmons and Brian Windhorst note that the Curry-James rivalry is "real." 

But once James moved to the Lakers, and the two weren't competing for titles against each other anymore, they became friendly with each other once again. They played together in the 2021 All-Star Game, praised each other in the media and noted the long-time respect they had for one another. It's worth noting also that James notably defended Curry from then-president Donald Trump on Twitter in 2017. 

James and Curry have defined the past two decades of basketball, and as long as they're both playing there's going to be a competitive side to their relationship. But at a foundational level, there will always be a mutual respect and admiration for what the other has accomplished.